EU bomb technicians gather to share knowledge on improvised explosive devices

14 June 2011
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Bomb technicians from 26 EU countries and the USA (ATF and FBI) have joined together to participate in a conference and specialised training to increase expertise and knowledge on dealing with improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

The participants worked on improving EOD (explosive ordnance disposal) techniques, by sharing their invaluable experience gained worldwide through thousands of incidents involving IEDs planted by terrorists and criminals. Specialists from the Hungarian EOD Unit, together with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), were among the trainers at the course, which took place at Piliscsaba in Hungary last week.

Europol created the European Explosive Ordnance Disposal Network (EEODN) in May 2008 and, since then, experts in explosives security from all EU countries meet twice a year to share their knowledge, expertise and best practices in the fight against the illicit use of explosives and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Under the auspices of the Hungarian Presidency of the Council of the EU, this training was made possible through cooperation between Europol, US agencies, the FBI and ATF, and the Hungarian National Police. These activities were possible thanks to the grant awarded by the European Commission (DG Home) in the framework of the 'Prevention of and Fight against Crime' Programme.

FBI and ATF agents Philip Scott Thorlin and Phil Whitley said: "The training gives the US law enforcement community an opportunity to share both our technical and investigative skills while learning from our EU colleagues. Additionally, this allows us the opportunity to establish an international cooperative network, necessary to combat international terrorist and criminal enterprises".

The European Explosive Ordnance Disposal Network (EEODN) is one of the European Union‘s priority policies in the fight against terrorism. Through the EEODN, Europol continues to enhance and develop knowledge in the field of explosives and chemical, biological, radiological/nuclear (CBRN) security, by facilitating the sharing of best practices among EU experts. The creation of the EEODN was requested in the EU Action Plan on Enhancing the Security of Explosives, approved by the EU Ministers of Justice and Interior in April 2008, and designating Europol as the competent body for the network‘s implementation, together with the European Commission (DG Home) and EU Member States. The creation of the EEODN was the first action of the above mentioned EU Action Plan that was successfully implemented.